God’s Unchanging Constancy in All Seasons of Life

seasons-all-flow-into-one-another

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes—His eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what He made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

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Autumn’s debut —

God’s splendor on display-

Leaves in vibrant colors-

Geese honking overhead-

Frosty early mornings-

Sunrise-short days-sunset-

Winter’s notice in the air-

Changing seasons.

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CHANGE: Change the channel, change the battery, change the light, change the diaper, change the temperature, change your clothes, change your mood, change your friends, change your position, change your job, change that attitude, change your lifestyle, change your life-CHANGE.

We exist in constant flux. Exponential societal change is ongoing. A technology update is dated before we can upload it. Such a rapid state of increasing change gives way to inconstancy, fluidity, instability, unsteadiness, fluctuation, variation, shifts, rise and fall, seesawing, yo-yoing, uncertainty.

Unlike societal change, our God and our Savior are the constants:

 –Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

— God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)

–Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who  does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

God’s creation does not change either. Winter follows fall, spring follows winter, summer follows spring, fall follows summer, and the cycle continues. An unchanging constant in our lives brings forth stability, steadiness, certainty, serenity, peace.

While the world is in an ever-constant state of continuous change and instability, those who turn to God can have peace: “Then God’s peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Let us enjoy the coming season that God has ordained from the beginning, knowing what will follow, feeling secure in His promise of constancy, and being hopeful in His promise of fulfillment, finding peace in His “good and perfect gift(s).”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/25/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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Jesus Christ and Him Crucified: Speaking with Boldness

boldly-speak

Jitters. Weak knees. Dry mouth. Shaking hands.

And then you are before the crowd—or the one.

Can you speak the Truth with boldness?

 1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with testimony or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (I Corinthians 2:1-5)

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The Apostle Paul, speaking before the church at Corinth, not with the eloquence of the orators of his day, not with their perfect elocution of delivery, but speaking plainly and simply the knowledge of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” His weakness, fear, and trembling became God’s perfect “demonstration of the Spirit’s power” to deliver that wisdom, not from Paul’s background, training, and education, but from the only One with true wisdom.

How would human “wisdom” explain the crucifixion of Christ? Philosophers would philosophize, orators would debate, jurists would look to the law, Pharisees would look to themselves– and all would likely arrive at the conclusion that this is not wisdom. To allow one’s only son, the only heir, to die and suffer on the cross, one of the cruelest devices of torture surely cannot be wisdom. To choose to suffer and die surely cannot be wisdom. To live, assume one’s rightful heritage, and make a difference through one’s life, surely that is more wise.

Human “wisdom” is limited by human thought. “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?”(I Corinthians 2:11). I cannot know your thoughts, and you cannot know mine. We can each guess and infer, but we cannot truly know each other’s thoughts. If all I know are my own thoughts, then I have little to no means of obtaining knowledge beyond what I already know. To go beyond my thoughts, I can study philosophy, listen to debates, dissect the law—but I will, ultimately, come back to myself in the mirror of my own thoughts to judge, “What is wisdom?”

For me to go beyond me and for you to go beyond you, we must each have the Spirit of God as our teacher to help us understand and speak His wisdom.

13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:13-16).

Paul proclaimed to the Corinthian brethren: “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with testimony or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:1). This is what we need to know and what we need to speak and proclaim, like Paul did long ago. God’s wisdom doesn’t change; it just IS.

We may be jittery, weak, and shaking, but when we go forward and speak of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” we have the power of God’s Spirit within us to deliver this good news to others—boldly. And this is our mission.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/18/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

One Moment With Jesus

walking-with-jesus

Time: One-on-One, Face-to-Face.  One Moment with Jesus

 The disciples sitting at His feet

A woman with a disease for 12 years

The ten men with leprosy

Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night

Paul blinded on the road to Damascus

How did they change after time spent with Jesus?

 Time was a gift Jesus gave to others. Even though He was tired from His return journey to Galilee from Judea, and was sitting down at Jacob’s well to rest, He took time to make a difference in the life of one Samaritan woman who came to the well. He asked her to give Him a drink from this well. He was about to give her living water. He told her things about her past and present that no stranger would know. She thought He was a prophet. She told Him she knew a Messiah was coming who would explain everything. (John 4:25). “Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you—I am He.’ ” (John 4:26)

 Did she change after time spent with Jesus?

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. (John 4:28-29)

 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”(John 4:39-42).

One moment, ripples extending from one woman to many men, women, and children of that time to even you and me in our time and beyond us through all time. All it took was a little time spent, one- on -one, face- to- face. Are we extending the ripple?

      Time: One- on -One, Face- to- face. What difference can we make? Where will the ripple enlarge, escalate, expand, grow, increase, magnify, mount, multiply, proliferate, rise, run up, snowball, soar, swell, upsurge. . . 

Time: One- on -One, Face- to- face.  What difference can we make?

 (Sharon G. Tate 09/11/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

The Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ

good shepherd holding baby sheep

A Psalm of David: Psalm 23:1-4

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
    He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 Without the shepherd, the sheep under his care will be lost. They will not know what to do or where to go to find sustenance or shelter. Sheep need to be led; they need to be told and shown what to do and where to go. The green pastures, the quiet waters, the right paths are only attainable through the shepherd. To reach these, the sheep must hearken to the shepherd’s voice and follow only him, staying near the one with the rod and the staff, the one who corrects and protects.

Jesus is the Shepherd, the One who guides, leads, protects, and comforts:

11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me d I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. “ (John 10: 11, 14-16)

Are we the sheep who will follow the Shepherd to green pastures and quiet waters OR are we the sheep who follow our own paths to arid deserts and dried up basins?

Are we the sheep who will follow the Shepherd down paths to refreshment and comfort OR are we the sheep who turn away to take the wide road ending in hunger and longing?

The Good Shepherd wants us all to be in the same flock, together in the sheep pen, where He can take care of us. Listen to His voice and follow Him. His path leads to eternity with the One Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world… 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ “  (Matthew 25:31-34, 41)

Are we the sheep who will follow the Master Shepherd to the right paths OR have we become the goats that follow the deceiver who shepherds us down the wrong roads? Whom we follow will determine our path here and our journey into eternity.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/04/16)  teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word